Saturday, October 27, 2007

There are Places

There are places...
Where we leave a little of ourselves behind

There are places...
Which we take with us in our hearts

There are places...
Which draw us back again and again

November calls our name to the warm sunny beaches in the Southern Pacific.
How we love to run, walk, swim, sail, read, listen to our mp3 players, download some great books, listen to some great music and of course crochet an edge around a baby blanket.

This will be a first time for me, sitting on a beach crocheting?

I'm sure our friends will be slightly embarrassed that I have taken up this new hobby, but then on the other hand they will just smile and comment, "Different strokes for different folks."

We will miss the golden rays of the sun shining through the trees in the early morning.

We will miss the fall foliage which outlines our front and back yards.
God sure knew what he was doing when he made seasons.

But we won't miss the early morning frost as we run down the ocean beach and feel the warm rays of sun beating down on our heads at 7:00am.

By the time we arrive home again, we'll be in the mood of celebrating Advent, a time of preparing for the birth of a King!!

By the way, any of you who love Josh Groban, grab his new Christmas CD called NOEL. A rule in our home is not to play Christmas music till the first Advent Sunday.

It's been so hard to wait...I love his music. I feel like breaking Tradition!

Friday, October 26, 2007


A mighty wind blew night and day
It stole the oak tree's leaves away
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark

But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around
The weary wind gave up and spoke.
How can you still be standing Oak?

The oak tree said, I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two
Carry every leaf away
Shake my limbs, and make me sway

But I have roots stretched in the earth
Growing stronger since my birth
You'll never touch them, for you see
They are the deepest part of me

Until today, I wasn't sure
Of just how much I could endure
But now I've found, with thanks to you
I'm stronger than I ever knew

Johnny Ray Ryder Jr

This morning I looked out, noticing once again how beautiful our scenery is when the sun shines it's warm rays on the colorful autumn leaves.
A view of Cheam with it's fresh snow and of course our lovely Oak tree in our front yard has a strong story of faith and roots. Many times I have been reminded of the heritage that my parents have left us. Yes, it's strong in commitment to one partner, strong in your commitment to faith, strong in your commitment to work, strong in your commitment to support family and strong in your commitment to be involved in others lives.

An oak tree never looses it's leaves till the early spring when it's ready to produce new buds, hence I leave my bedroom window open in the winter just to hear those leaves rustle back and forth. The rest of our trees will shortly be barren of the fall leaves, but the oak is one strong sturdy tree that reminds us of it's strength, perseverance and endurance.

Where do you find your strength and support?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Birthing Pains

Only one more month and Mac would say, 30 more sleeps. We are so excited for the birth of another grandchild...(we already know that it's a boy, and he has a real name.) We have had so much fun shopping, thinking about the new arrival, looking for flannelette's to make those little blankies. It's been years since I last dared digging up my crochet needles, but I have turned the corner and found the fabric and am beginning to practice only to find out that I couldn't read instructions or figure out a simple crochet stitch.

If any of you know me well enough, you will know that I have always been challenged when it came to crafts, but I can't stand loosing a battle, so I decided to phone friends and connect with anyone who knew how to sew, or make a blanket stitch, or could even make a crochet stitch. All I wanted was a simple stitch, with only one step... I like to keep things quite simple. Anyways at the end of yesterday, I was so frustrated because I needed someone to SHOW me, rather than read the internet or ask for instructions over the phone. Thanks to all of you who heard my dilemma and stood by..Do you know how many hours this has taken?

I already had one friend who came shopping with me and actually took the flannel home to sew the blanket because I don't even own a sewing machine. I'm scared that my husband will make that his next farm purchase. (so I can mend his clothes again, been there, done that)

So I jumped into my car and took off to town to the wool shop. I was on a mission. I entered the door and there was a group of ladies sitting around a table, talking and knitting, drinking coffee and having fun. I stepped up to their table briskly and they new there was a major crisis in my life. A few women offered words of comfort and showed me some simple steps and soon I was flying high. I was so greatful to those ladies and now I have to bring back my final project when it is completed.

I think those groups are called, "stitch and bitch" and I thought that is was quite fitting and decided that maybe I need to find a group like that.
Do the Mennos have other groups beside MCC quilting?

One more thought, will I be using all of the yarn on that roll?
It looks like a major project to me. That will take me forever.

So much for making baby blankets. I'll show you the final project...
Stay Posted!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Spending Time with Mac


Another day worthwhile posting, with this little friend of mine. The sun poked out this afternoon just long enough and that was our perfect time to slip on our boots and haul out the wheelbarrow and plant our bulbs for the season. Last year none of them came up. We concluded that the moles ate them, so this year we decided to change our strategy and plant them in my potting plants.

I dug the holes and he carefully placed the bulb with the stem down and the bud pointing upwards. It didn't take him long to figure that out. Then of course he loved to cover and bury them. Hopefully we can look forward to having some blooms this spring.

Suddenly Mac heard the sound of the John Deere. "I need to help Opa cut the lawn." Well isn't that unusual that he would rather sit with his Opa on a tractor?
I could hear his little voice singing all over the yard, above the drone of the lawnmover.
"Jesus loves the little children...all the children of the world...
"The ants go marching one by one Hurrah, Hurrah!"
"Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed!"

At six thirty it was cooling down and he decided it was time for hot chocolate and Oma's chicken noodle soup.
"This is so tasty, Oma, I never new that I would like this water so much." (referring to the soup broth) Where does he get these phrases?
Just before bedtime tuck, again he played with his train set, winding all over the family room. Meanwhile he told us that his house was too small for such a big train set.
Hang on to those classic toys. They are timeless and allow endless hours of pleasure.

What better way for Opa to spend with his grandson.

He's nicely tucked into bed again.. and I can't wait to read with him the next chapter of his favorite book.
His final words in his prayer were, "God please hold my hands all night, so that there won't be any monsters under my bed...Please keep us all safe."
"Oma why did you have your eyes open?" He doesn't miss a thing!!!

There's nothing more rewarding than spending time with Mac and incorporating him into our activities.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I'm NOT Martha Stewart!

Today was a great day to watch and wait for the big storm that was for forcasted to arrive in the eastern end of the valley. I believe that my weather forecast was wrong or my friends from the west need to clarify all the warnings. I'm still waiting and while I waited I started to bake and cook. I stoked the old fire so that the room would be the right temperature for the bun dough. Well it didn't take me long to realize that Martha Stewart does not live in my house.

I began making the bun dough for these famous crescent rolls only to learn that I did not know how to shape a circle, so after spending about 30 minutes trying to shape the dough, then trying to find a sharp enough knife to slither through the dough, and then thought, "Do I dare cut on this arborite in hopes that no one will catch me or do I need to pull out the cutting board? Finally I gave up and finished off and just made the regular shaped buns. It was so much quicker and easier and only took 5 minutes.
Judy, do you have any suggestions or tips?

Hey, I did manage to make one crescent roll pan! They were all sorts and sizes!! And guess what, they were a real hit! I took them to growth group and they finished them off and I was not scrutinized by the design or form, but they all designated me to become the bun maker.

While the buns were rising I thought I might as well make a pot of chicken noodle soup with those special spices from Lovella and quickly assembled a taco casserole for a friend who had surgery. But now after two hours, I'm looking at my kitchen thinking..."Cooking and baking are fun, but who could I capture to clean up my mess? No such luck!! (He was cleaning barns)

Meanwhile, in this calamity, there's a knock at the door. It was our Pastor. Do you remember in the olden days, when your mom would make you clean your rooms, shine the shoes, wash and wax the floors, and was given a lecture on how to behave? Well there was no forewarning signal for me today. I'm so glad that things have changed and we can continue being ourselves, because I noticed he didn't look at my dirty kitchen, but cared long enough just to shoot the breeze, grab a bag of buns, and leave some encouraging words.

So to all of you out there, who are not Martha Stewarts, relax and cultivate your own cooking style. Baking and cooking for me are most enjoyed when I can share it with family and friends. My hubby asked if we could have some more of those crescent rolls for breakfast and I let him know that I had saved the last one for him!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Take Time to Lick Ice-Cream

At 7AM I don’t envy the mob

Who rise, shine and shower and go to the job.

In rain, sleet or stormy weather, snowing or blowing

I stay home and savor the joys of not going.

Cheer to you dear, out fulfilling yourselves.

I’ll bake me a cake and I’ll straighten my shelves.

I’ll write some light verse and I’ll practice some Bach.

If my neighbor drops in, I’ll take time for a talk.

I’d rather have family than fortune or fame,

I don’t think my aprons a Red Badge of Shame,

You’re welcome to banking, computers & math,

guns, plumbing and business.

I’ll take me a HOT BATH!

If all my 3 children grow up with the notion,

Of careering through life and abjuring emotion;

The choice is all theirs, and it won’t blow my cool.

But I like to be there, when they come home from school.

Art, music, letters — the good things of life.

Are no less my own, since I’m mother and wife.

If I scrub, mop, or dig in the garden, I’m free….

Remember the choices were all made by me!!


I found this way back in 1981. Kept it and posted it today, feeling exactly the same.

I've been in the working world and no what it's like...The grass is always greener on the other side..

Hope more of you can enjoy being stay-home-moms!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Geraniums for Frank!!


How many of you know the art it takes to grow geraniums?

I was discussing landscaping ideas with a friend the other day and he sadly opened up his heart letting me know what happened to his 30 geranium plants that he had carefully planted. He wintered them through the tough times and in spring he would proudly stand back admiring his new geraniums, which he fertilized weekly, watered them daily, cut back the old growth, and massaged their leaves and petals in hope of having the largest blooms in the valley.
However in this last month some of his closest friends had a new idea. They decided to renovate the geranium garden, by bringing in the High-Ho and tearing them all out. Their logic for this unexpected event suggested that those flowers were from the past era and slightly outdated. They thought it was time to create an Extreme Makeover.

Well Frank, I want to pay tribute to this hardship in your life by sending you a bouquet of geraniums from my own home. Please be reminded that that the coffee pot is on....and we can spend time lamenting your loss.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Moments with Levi

There is nothing greater than being an Oma! I fought it with tooth and nail, but No, I'm not an Oma with a grey bun, a long dress draped around my ankles and an apron tied around my waist all day. I'm a pure Canadian born Oma and I'm so proud of it.
On one of our flights overseas my grandson, Levi, (4 years old) turned around in his seat and said, in an expressive voice,
"OPA!" Well, the whole plane turned around and took their wine glasses and toasted, "OPA" Apparently that's the Greek way of toasting and our plane was filled with Greek families.

It was Thanksgiving weekend and suddenly after the meal, Levi says, "Oma Look!" I jumped up and he pointed at something......

What on earth is that? "Those are clouds, Oma!" He had found some cotton baton and ripped it apart to make clouds. And what's that string? "That's a worm, Oma"
How does all of this connect? I can't imagine, but it's so great to see their minds explore.

Later in the afternoon while the family was sitting around, I heard some familiar noises in the dining room..I peeked around the corner. Here was Opa & Levi playing "Khnipsbrat" He was so proud of scoring and constantly cheering himself fact when he scored into the hole, he said that he was like "Steve Nash"
What's the resemblance, I don't get it...but meanwhile they were having so much fun.

Then came the overnighter, Could he stay at Oma's for night? He was wondering if we could change our plans to accommodate him?
We would do any thing go have his company. We made the usual popcorn in the special cups. (My kids keep asking why they didn't have those cups when they were small)

And now it's quiet time with Pooh's Heffalump Disney video. He's totally aware that the magical hour of bedtime is counting down. I prayed with him and tucked him into bed and within a few minutes, I heard the soft pitter patter of footsteps in my office.
"Oma, my heart hertz so for my Mommy."
There's absolutely nothing more beautiful than to hear his child like voice express himself.
I wish I could just put him on HOLD.

The morning didn't seem to appear as sunny as usual. I sensed that he was not well. He tried so hard to help me my make double decker biscuits but he had no energy.
Later we walked outside to help Opa in the shop, and then he said,
"Opa, I can't jump on the trampoline today. I have no N N Nergy"
"Opa, could we go and see the chickens another day when I have N N Nergy?"
What does a little 4 year old know about energy? Just another day celebrating "The Love of my Life." Savor and enjoy those precious moment's, they escape too quickly.

Life is a Gift.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Thanksgiving at the SCHMIDT House

This weekend has been nothing more than a reminder once again that when family is together, so many wonderful things occur. We have tried to establish a new tradition in our family, seeing that my parents died early and left 7 siblings orphaned. So we are trying to pull ourselves together and establish our own kind of traditions and we 're learning lots about each other and having fun. We started out on Friday night with an old fashioned wiener roast on a family farm. Being one of the older siblings gives me opportunity to reflect and observe my younger nieces and nephews.

I love this shot!! Remember the days when all the aunts and uncles were drinking coffee inside and all the cousins began to share the stories about each others lives? It's no different today. The young girls are so curious to know about all the boy stuff in the older cousins lives. They giggle, and tease each other.
The adults meanwhile sit in the house and have the most amusing conversations about the weather. Farming is reliant on the weather and each sibling is predicting when the first cold snap will occur and of course that means we have all googled our favorite weather channel.
We remininsce about who saw the first snowfall on Mt. Cheam. Of course as siblings we want to see who took the last dip at Cultus Lake? The sisters are all talking about who's turn it is to host the next family gathering. Nobody seems to remember anymore. Meanwhile some of the young guys are cheering loudly for the BC Lions!!
Basketball? There's never an evening without hearing the latest stats about BC Boys Highschool basketball or the Trinity Spartans Mens BB Team. Basketball is a favorite for all of us as we print off the schedules for our favorite teams and mark them on our calendars.
Have you ever heard about cracking nuts with a rocking chair? Someone had suggested that we could all help crack walnuts and hazelnuts. Well this conversation piece had the whole family, young and old, giggling with tears rolling down their cheeks. How could anyone crack nuts with a rocking chair?
Conversations are heard, laughter is occurring, desserts are being eaten: every corner of the house, is being used. Finally the young families slowly start going home, the young adults disappear, and here we sit as siblings, drinking coffee, yawning, cleaning up the last desserts and enjoying each other's company.
"What is a family? A family is a living mobile - A family is the most versatile, ever-changing mobile that exists, an artwork that takes years, even generations, to produce, but which is never finished." Edith Schaeffer

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking

"When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me and I learned that little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking I heard you say a prayer, and I knew there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in God.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I felt you kiss me goodnight and I felt loved and safe.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn’t feel good and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I learned most of lifes lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.'"

Each of us... whether parent, grandparent or friend...daily influence the life of a child.